NAIDOC Week is here, the 2022 NAIDOC theme is ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!’. This is a call to action for a genuine commitment from all Australians to do more to make our country better for First Nations peoples.
If you’re looking for a way to educate yourself or to support some amazing Indigenous people and organisations we’ve assembled Dirt’s three favourite Indigenous artists, fashion brands, musicians and stories for you to check out.
Emma Hollingsworth is a Kaanju, Kuku Ya’u, Girramay woman who grew up in tropical far north queensland. Her work is a reflection of her heritage and her culture, and she uses vibrant colours and designs to pay homage to her youthfulness blending with her ancient culture. Her work tells her own story of a young Indigenous woman growing up and paving a path in a modern world, and all of the trials and tribulations that go in hand with that.
Kaylene Whiskey is a Yankunytjatjara artist and a member of the Iwantja Arts community and a regular at Australia’s biggest galleries. Her bright, literal paintings depict everyday scenarios — often with a twist. The playfulness and exciting colours can’t help but bring a smile to viewers' faces. They often feature recurring cameos of Hollywood actors, famous film and television characters, divas and pop icons interacting with Whiskey’s daily life in Indulkana.
Emily Kame Kngwarreye became, in the final decade of her life, perhaps the most celebrated and sought after Australian artist of her time. A leading figure in eastern Anmatyerr ceremony, Kngwarreye was also the artist in whose work many white Australians first felt the force of an Indigenous art that could be seen to negotiate a space both within the aesthetics of Western abstraction and the timeless precepts of Aboriginal cultural traditions. Emily Kame Kngwarreye was also a founding member of the Utopia Women's Batik Group and is known for her precise and detailed works.
Clothing The Gaps is a fresh and dynamic fashion label managed by health professionals that celebrates Aboriginal people and culture. They were recognised for our excellence at the 2020 Dreamtime Awards and were awarded 'Business of the year'. Clothing The Gaps is a Victorian Aboriginal led and controlled, and majority Aboriginal owned social enterprise, co-founded by Laura Thompson (Gunditjmara) and Sarah Sheridan (non-Indigenous).
Launched in 2019, Yuwaalaraay Creative Director Julie Shaw founded the brand to showcase and celebrate Indigenous art and fashion. Since launching, the brand has gone on to win both the ‘Fashion Design’ and ‘Community Collaboration’ awards at the inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards. MAARA Collective was a finalist in the 2020 Australian Fashion Laureate for Best Emerging Australian Designer and has just been announced a finalist in the National Designer Award for 2021.
Gammin threads was born from a love of typography, language and blak pride. It consists of deadly chillwear and accessories for people who believe in living colourfully, paying respect and empowering women. Gammin threads is the brainchild of Tahnee Edwards, a proud Yorta Yorta and Taungurung designer and creator, influenced by culture, community and cool aunties.
Baker Boy is a pop culture phenomenon. Baker Boy (aka. Danzal Baker) grew up in Arnhem Land, a region in the northeast corner of the Northern Territory. He spent his younger years between two remote communities there, Milingimbi and Maningrida.In 2017 he burst onto the Australian hip-hop scene, effortlessly fusing his native Yolŋu Matha with English in his rhymes.
Gurrumul was raised on Elcho Island, off the coast of North East Arnhem Land, as a member of the Gumatj clan. Born blind, his powerfully emotive yet fragile voice has affected the public unlike any other Australian artist. His songs covered themes of identity, spirit, connection with the land and its elements across multiple Yolngu languages as well as English. The depth of his music, his stage presence, combined with his captivating high tenor voice incited emotion, compassion and a feeling of peacefulness within Australian and international audiences alike.
Thelma Plum is a Gamilaraay woman, musician and creator. She has been making music her whole life and has told one of the many chapters with her debut album ‘Better in Blak’; a beautiful story about culture, heritage, love and pain. Her music is easy to adore, it displays incredible strength, courage and heartbreaking tenderness and the experience of a young Indigenous woman in Australia.
The Final Quarter - available on Netflix
Adam Goodes was a champion AFL footballer and Indigenous leader. In the final three years of his playing career he became a lightning rod for a heated public debate and widespread media commentary that divided the nation. He publicly called out racism, was named Australian of the Year, was accused of staging for free kicks, and performed an on-field war dance celebration. The cheers became boos as football crowds turned on him. Using only archival footage aired at the time, the film holds a mirror to Australia and is an opportunity to reconsider what happened on and off the football field.
Looking Black - premiering on ABC
Looking Black explores the impact of Indigenous storytelling at the ABC, and how it has created deep and honest conversations about the experience of First Nations journalists, storytellers, and presenters. Premiers on July 5th at 8:30pm on ABC
The Art of Incarceration - available on Netflix
Seen through the eyes of Indigenous prisoners at Victoria’s Fulham correctional centre, the art of incarceration explores how art and culture can empower First Nations people to transcend their unjust cycles of imprisonment. This narrative documentary both analyses and humanises the over representation of Indigenous Australians within the prison system, whilst seeking answers and striving toward solutions.